Aubameyang and Chelsea: Tuchel’s faith, Boehly’s doubts and the number 9 ‘curse’

By | September 7, 2022

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back in the Premier League with Chelsea after a very brief period with Barcelona after leaving Arsenal. But how did the deal materialise? And is everyone happy with the outcome?

Chelsea writer Liam Twomey and Spanish football expert Pol Balls joined Mark Chapman to discuss…

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Liam let's crack on with it then and I'll start with you Does it feel Like the signing of aubameyang Is emblematic of chelsea's transfer Window I think it's emblematic of how quickly Things changed In chelsea's transfer window um because The ownership went back and forth on This signing this is Far from you know plan a from day one Of the summer Um chelsea looked at other players other Forwards they i mean they looked at Lewandowski But obviously his heart was always set On barcelona there were other High-profile targets young and old they Assessed before banyang and it was only Really in the final weeks of the window More opportunistically than anything Um because lewandowski went to barcelona And a few other circumstances changed For aubameyang there that It became clear that this was a deal That could be done And once it became clear that it could Be done I think thomas tucker made it very clear That he Really wanted to work with aubameyang Again i mean we've we've got that Impression from listening to him

Publicly Obama is one of the few players that he Never passes up an opportunity to talk Glowingly about as a player and a person Um but even then in the sort of final Week or so of the window We were told there were still doubts Within the ownership about whether Aubameyang was the right way to go to Chelsea his age Um some of the Character questions that have been in The past of course certainly at arsenal And it was only really after the leads And the southampton defeats That everyone at chelsea aligned Uh behind the possibility That Um was the right choice for chelsea and Then they then they focused on talks With barcelona and got the deal done for Terms that i think they're happy with Um before i get into the the deal and The terms and barcelona side of things Um When you say the ownership went back and Forth on this Um Is that todd bowley having a Conversation with himself who who um Who is going back and forth on this Who's who's Where are the balance and the checks Well i mean it's an ownership group a

Bit like fsg um that's certainly what They're trying to model themselves on Todd bowley is What they call the operator he's the He's the face of the club day-to-day of Course in this window he's been the Interim sporting director as well so He's the He's the person that everyone associates Um with the chelsea ownership publicly But you've also got the dad egg barley Um and jose feliciano who are Co-founders of clear lake capital the Private equity firm that owns 62 of the Club Um so they have a pretty big say in all Major Decisions and and You know in the course of putting Together our big transfer window read it Became Very clear to us that Egg barley in particular uh was very Active very involved in all of the Football decisions with boli and they Were very much working in partnership So when you're talking about something Like the aubameyang signing It's all of those people in the Conversation they've all got advisors as Well and thomas twogle has has a voice You have other investors in the group Who are Slightly more minor but still there

And so it is a conversation it's not Just foley Kind of making decisions for himself Um let's uh look at it from a barcelona Point of view before we we drill down as Well into what aubameyang will bring to Chelsea and what chelsea hope to get out Of aubameyang Why And presumably paul this is just all About money because if you look at what He did on the field Barcelona wouldn't be happy for him to Leave would they Yeah yeah yeah that's a good angle i Think that now when you look at it it's Probably like the perfect business for Fc barcelona because they got him on the Cheap well for free basically And they sell a 33 year old for money But in footballing terms as you were Saying it was not like the planet it was Not that desired option He earned chavis trust during last Season with the numbers that you have Just mentioned um he was able to and he Was up to play a role for the team and He could play as a forward as a winger Um he could perform like in a mobile uh Front line that is basically what chubby Wanted but As we all know it wasn't an easy window For barcelona um and the plans design They didn't work

Out all of them because probably if you Ask like some executive at barcelona They would have preferred to sell Players like frankie de jong like Memphis dubai Probably frankly jean because he would Have left like a bigger um Just yeah He would have like a bigger impact like In the In the la liga salary limits basically Uh and memphis depay i think that was Lower in the pecking order of chavi but At the end i think that Aubameyang was the only player that had A genuine interest from a real really Big club And at the end of the day any ease off For their numbers Was more than welcome and although was a Realistic opportunity and i think that's That's what made the deal happen Basically Liam what what do you make of The Or what and what does chelsea fans make Of Signing of the character first of all We'll we'll come on to where he fits Into a system and all of that in just A little while but aubameyang The person is there Is there slight trepidation trepidation I think the biggest obstacle that most

Chelsea fans are wrestling with right Now is is aubameyang status at arsenal For so long and the fact that he Single-handedly beat them in an fa cup Final And those tend to be the things that That fans get most hung up on but i Think if he scores a few goals for Chelsea that That will recede a bit um in terms of The character You know he wasn't done any favors by His portrayal in that all or nothing Documentary um and and just the general Coverage around his Departure from arsenal painted him in a Very bad light But weighing against that are the words Of thomas tucker which Most chelsea fans still put an awful lot Of story in and he could not have been More effusive In his praise of Aubameyang as a character and as a Professional as well he's he's basically Been a character witness for this Transfer um You know talking saying that the the Punctuality issues are massively Overblown with him Um that he was he was a great Professional in the training ground Always worked hard on the pitch was it Was a you know a ray of positivity

Within the squad and kind of a good Influence on the younger players in that Sense and of course he scored goals now The caveat to all of this Is that it's been about six years since Thomas super worked with pierre-emerick Aubameyang you know both of them have Probably changed significantly in that Time and of course Six years is a long time in a football Career and obama yang is 33 now he's not Necessarily the same player he was then Um So that that those are those are Questions that are still to be answered On the pitch but In terms of what chelsea fans are Thinking about the deal i think they're Willing to give people the benefit of The doubt on this and because it's clear That the team is crying out for a more Clinical edge And abanyang showed enough i think that In the second half last season at Barcelona to suggest that he still has The capability to provide that of course All of this pressing chat tactical chat Goal scoring chat uh how he'll fit in is He's all irrelevant liam because he's He's taking the number nine shirt so i Mean it's evident i mean it's just not Going to work out is it so it's the last 10 minutes has been pointless doomed I mean

I mean I do have here uh the last Uh In the last 11 years i'm naming just Four here who've worn the number nine Torres morata lukaku Gonzalo higuain on loan but around 200 Million pounds was spent on those four And let's not forget the curse actually Started with with chris sutton so that's How that's how far back we'll go I can't believe you cruelly snubbed Khalid bularus there as well Did kezman did kesman wear the nine I'm trying to remember Um remember I i can't remember actually i told you Who Rather mel falcao Yes yes yes but his curse started Earlier yeah [Laughter] Yeah well we were also told um For a different piece that we wrote a Few weeks ago that there was one of Brownvizier signing i'm not going to say Who who point blank refused to take the Number nine shirt at chelsea because They've been told that it was cursed and They they've been convinced that Something would go horribly wrong for Them if they didn't and ultimately they Didn't wear it at chelsea Um so yeah it's

It It is a it's a kind of a thing but at The same time tammy abraham did pretty Well wearing the number nine shirt a Couple of years ago You know him leaving chelsea was less About that and more about Just not clicking the tuckle And i think the nature of top strikers Is They back themselves to be the ones to Break that You